Author's signed presentation copy to the Golda Meir Library.
Glancy's first novel recounts the 1838 removal of the Cherokee from the Southeast
to Oklahoma. It incorporates certain words from the Cherokee in order to convey
a sense of the language. Glancy writes that these words "can be viewed as holes
in the text so the original can show through." One reviewer describes the novel
as "an exquisitely sad tale," and another observes that "the day-after-winter-day,
mile account makes the Cherokee journey a visceral, immediate experience for the reader."
Selection from "STOCKADE"
The stockade at Rattlesnake Springs was open under the sky. Inside the gates the seven clans of the Cherokee were crowded together row after row like corn in a field. I couldn't see the end of the people. No one spoke. If a child cried, its voice cut the air like a whippoorwill at dawn. Goats, chickens, and dogs made their noises. The stockade smelled of urine and fear.
We stood at the gates until the soldiers led us to a place along the front wall. I didn't want to follow, but one of the soldiers took my arm and pulled me until I walked behind my father and mother. My parents were carrying my cooking pot between them.
"Some of the people have been here since last summer," my father said.
"I saw graves outside the stockade," my mother added.
"We came from farthest away," my father told us as we stepped over feet and belongings.
"And the soldiers let us go back for a few things," I said.
I saw that other people had more bundles than we did. One woman had a loom. Some of the rich Cherokee had their slaves. There were even a few pack dogs. Why did they have so much while I had nothing but a cooking pot and blankets?
From Pushing the Bear: A Novel of the Trail of Tears (1996). Used with permission of the author.
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